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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffThinner/Autoplate Date: Jun 25, 2004 6:47pm
Forum: netlabels Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz hearts netlabels?

>+ a musician wants to be heard, he wants exposure, MB gives this artist and his webpage/netlabel exposure -

>also netlabels give their music away for free - mixed tape 01 does the same

Yes, but the origin, and the MOTIVEs of sharing music are just 100% different. Please don't forget that.

Since MB approached to Thinner aswell, and sent me information material, here're some interesting
facts from their presentation:

"The most popular and most downloaded tracks will be released on a CD on SonyMusic. Here, artists
and labels would participate financially. All content must be GEMA free, i.e. artists may not be
a member of GEMA or any comparable society abroad. This unplannable cost would endanger the development
and future of this project."

It's obvious - MB doesn't want to spend a single cent on the music, as the GEMA, or any other society just embodies the interest of the artist!
My assumption is, that society would claim this to be part of a marketing campaign - but not a netlabel, which is obviously non profit.

MB is indeed no way interested in the artists gaining any financial profit of this.

Although their document futher states, that "a compilation to be released on Sony Music" might
appear, it's in the first state "to refinanciate the costs of PR" - so no expectations are allowed
from the sell-out aswell (since their PR is IS costy)

Netlabel Artists who release on a MB mixtape endanger their credibility - because for the fact that they

offer themselves for commercial purpose. It seems they just don't care whether it's for commercial purpose

or art-/community-/related - whether underground or global player - as if they wouldn't care at all
to distinguish.

> - the artist doesnt get paid (the netlabel doesnt pays him either)

If you make financial comparisons to be a point that matters in this case,
you reveal you didn't understand at all what this discussion, and especially netlabels
are about, at all. I'm sorry to be direct, but this quote is pathetic.

Mercedes Benz pays Marketing researchers who should dig out trends, that are in
consequence cheap. Netaudio offers both of it, because websites like phlow or debug
are hyping it - same as more and more print articles arise.

MB is in NO WAY interested in building up artists, to release their music in a good
working community. The artists will be 100% replaceable - as it is their concept to launch
new mixtapes every 6-8 weeks or something.

MB is a corporation, and not a free project that is only lead by passsion and dedication.

Netlabel owners spend thousands of hours unpaied, but certainly not the employees of MB.

MB has a budget for promoting their cars, and Netlabel owners don't.

Netlabel owners are poor young people who are united by the care of good music.
Many netlabels make their artists play liveacts, locally or overseas, and don't charge
any money for the booking effort - where's the MB mixtape launch livegig for MB customers
with 5-star lodging for the artists? This wouldn't be a question of money if MB behaves
honourable.

>+ each musician has his own info sheet with picture - OFTEN the netlabels themselves don't provide the >

visitors with information and pictures about their artists!

MB's concept is to incorporate the mixtape in their Flash Site, which makes it incompatible
to many people who are potentially interested in the music. IMHO, this is discrimination.

A netlabel, who tries to maximize the downloads, and therefore the exposure, tries to
work out a comination between a multi-platform website (definately NOT flash) that also
looks clear and well, so there're no complaints at all. And now tell me if an artist
prefers more downloads from worldwide or a cryptic multimedia website that runs on 4/10
machines (compare the feedback to it on phlow.net)?

As for the artist promotion on the MB website - no external links says everything.

Most netlabels put up the artists homepage link even in the ID3 tag, so the information
even remains if the mp3 is cicrculating in filesharing networks. But I also think serious
netlabels put up information about their artists by standard. MB has a budget of time
and money every netlabel owner dreams about, so comparison to other netlabel sites is
worthless, because MB will only think what is the best for them, their appearance, and
their credibility (and linking externally IS bad viewed through the corporations glasses).

So please, let us know what the mixtape does for the artists, a netlabel couldn't do.


>+ if you don't want, that a (fat and money-armend) MB-driver listens to your sound, than you should shut >

the door, save your music and let nobody listens to it, otherwise it could be someone you won't like

It's the totally wrong clientel they adress to (as if MB drivers would care about Netaudio!
As if MB drivers who are 75% >50 years would know about MP3!).

And isn't it the main purpose by artists who give their music away for free, to get
heared by the RIGHT people, to put the music on websites that are RELATED to their
own aesthetics - to a website that is built with passion and a non profit thought?
I'm sure there 0.0000000001% of the website visitors MB clientel (or for any other
fat money corporation).

As if any netlabel ever sent a newsletter about what they're doing to any MB fetishist
car loving forum. Netlabel websites are clearly seperated from that clientel, and will
remain forever hidden to 99% of MB purchasers.


This post was modified by Sebastian (thinnerism.com) on 2004-06-26 01:47:18

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Poster: fbar Date: Jun 27, 2004 5:54am
Forum: netlabels Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz hearts netlabels?

Hi,

Sebastian's post contained a lot of truth, but also revealed some
important issues regarding "free" and "almost free" licenses for
music.

Sebastian wrote:

> It's obvious - MB doesn't want to spend a single cent on the music, as the
> GEMA, or any other society just embodies the interest of the artist!

Well, treating GEMA this way was and is common in the whole 12"
business.

> Netlabel Artists who release on a MB mixtape endanger their
> credibility - because for the fact that they offer themselves for
> commercial purpose. It seems they just don't care whether it's for
> commercial purpose or art-/community-/related - whether underground
> or global player - as if they wouldn't care at all to distinguish.

Very true. I for my part don't see any good in being promoted by a
company like Mercedes Benz, which is a personification of all evil in
the corporate world. I don't need to go into details here, just google
around: Benz is a perfect enemy, but a questionable friend.

But see below for more.

> MB's concept is to incorporate the mixtape in their Flash Site,
> which makes it incompatible to many people who are potentially
> interested in the music. IMHO, this is discrimination.

This also might lead them into problems. I don't know which license the
tracks on MB's site were released under, but if it was a copyleft
license, then you might be entitled to demand the Flash source code, as
a Flash file is a derivative piece of art. I didn't see the Flash (no
Flash here), but if it contains the MB trademark, then that also could
mean legal issues for MB, because they might be forced to release the
logo as a "Creative Common" as well by the license.

> Most netlabels put up the artists homepage link even in the ID3 tag,
> so the information even remains if the mp3 is cicrculating in
> filesharing networks.

... and MB might violate the Attribution clause in some licenses then.

> And isn't it the main purpose by artists who give their music away
> for free, to get heared by the RIGHT people, to put the music on
> websites that are RELATED to their own aesthetics - to a website
> that is built with passion and a non profit thought?

Now we come to the hot issues: Licensing and Freedom. The Free Software
movement has a definite stance on this: They want software to be free
and that involves that it is free for *everybody*, even for MB, even for
the military, terrorists or fascists. This is a risk, that has to be
taken for achiving freedom. The underlying pricnple is, that even the
software author must not be allowed to take away the freedom of a
product, once it is released, because then (s)he would be "more free"
than the rest of the world, which in turn would automatically make the
world not free anymore (because its fate relies on the sofwtare author).

So as soon as an artist gives away some of his rights about its art by
licensing it under an (almost) free license like CC-NC, where only "some
rights are reservid", (s)he is taking the same risk.

In fact, if MB wants and manages to make their netlabel mixtape a
"non-profit" project -- which they could do easily by just do the
bookkeeping the right way -- then they wouldn't even have to ask for
permission to use Thinner tracks. OTOH DJing which is clearly a
commercial act, is walking on thin ice, because in principle it violates
the license of the Thinner tracks. I know Thinner encourages DJing, but
that wouldn't matter in court. What if the DJ was DJing on a
Mercedes-Benz-Label-Party?

In the end, I think, it is not good to argue against MB using the
tracks, because they have the right to do so under the licenses we give
to all, which includes MB.

*But* it is very important to make them follow our rules. And that
means:

* No shitty Flash, unless we get the source files to this
derivative art.

* Correct attribution, and that means no removing of ID3-tags.

* Transparency of book keeping to make sure, they don't make profits
from our work unless that's allowed.

Probably a lot of other things.

-- Frank

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffgrant kidd [numia/slskrex] Date: Jul 29, 2004 8:58am
Forum: netlabels Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz hearts netlabels?

<<< No shitty Flash, unless we get the source files to this derivative art.

Lest we forget that Tokyo Dawn uses flash... so be fair about your criticism. Also, if you opted to install flash to check out the site, you'd notice there was a package to download an entire zip of the 'release', coverart included.

<<< Correct attribution, and that means no removing of ID3-tags.
I doubt there's anywhere in the attribution clause that forces a netlabel to keep ID tags. If you treat this 'Mix Tapes' collection as a release... then the songs on the collection are 'rereleased' by MB. The attribution on their webpage should suffice, and they'd technically be able to put the MB website in the Tags.

<<< Transparency of book keeping to make sure, they don't make profits from our work unless that's allowed.

Artists worked out an agreement with MB. So anything MB does is allowed, as long abides with the the contract.

--

Also, I'd like to think its a bit too early to discourage this sort of program and to prematurely label it artist exploitation.

Brain1001 is obviously a fan of the netaudio scene and wanted to do his part to help out; he used his position at MB to do so. Okay, so MB could spend a lot of money to invest in these artists, but its a car company, and Mix Tapes 01 is their debut release.

Now.. if you're a corporation doing a project that really has absolutely nothing to do with your business... would you invest thousands of dollars straight from the beginning? Hell No. You'd check it out and see how it goes.

And perhaps, if there were a more POSITIVE response from within this community, and they got the enough traffic into their website for their 'releases', they might spend more time in artist development.. or at least make a hard release to sell (which would in turn benefit the artists).

MB has a huge potential to develop the netaudio scene because they have the money to back it up. But don't expect them to start sponsoring netlabel shows if their efforts are shunned by the community they're supporting.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffaaron m Date: Jun 27, 2004 2:08pm
Forum: netlabels Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz hearts netlabels?

very thought out post looking at both sides of the issue.. thanks

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffaaron m Date: Jun 26, 2004 2:15am
Forum: netlabels Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz hearts netlabels?

many of these attitudes seem at least partially hypocritcal to me... to complain about releasing music for free (and under an attrib/noderiv creative common liscense no less) and then after the fact getting pissed off or annoyed when its actually used by someone freely under these terms.

We should be proud for any recognition any of our artists get, sure. Some situations where I would be annoyed by this would be uncredited/non-permissive use, actual profit (its more than likely this will have cost MB more money to make that shit Flash site in man hours/pay than it will ever make off of it) ... etc and so on.

I think everyone's making entirely too big a deal out of this. I just see it as reaching the masses. It can easily be argued no money or 'fame' would come from any of these netlabel tracks anyways, so if by some fluke chance this blew one of them up into commercial/radio/recognition land, I wouldnt do any complaining. .. if that's the sound/world you're reaching for, or wouldnt mind a piece of. Putting aside our artistic underground egos for a second.. I'm sure there's little argument that the majority of players here wouldn't mind or even aspire to make a living off of their music if the situation would arise...

So whats wrong with any type of exposure then, specially from works we "marketed" out as being FREE? Wouldn't that just be some ironic shit, if a commerical release someone had out didn't perform worth a shit but a free release did? Wouldn't that also be a benefit for the future viability of netlabels in general?

Other than that I see no harm/no foul, yet. I'll be interested in seeing how the Sony part plays out. This could all turn out to be a great test of our methods/liscensing, etc. and help steer the course we (as netlabels) choose in the future to either attract or avoid this type of exposure (or at least keep it under control).

in any case.. we can only learn and develop new methods and thinking through experiences, so just the discussion of this MB 'event' alone is intriguing to me.

This post was modified by aaron m on 2004-06-26 09:15:02

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffErratic Date: Jun 27, 2004 6:56am
Forum: netlabels Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz hearts netlabels?

To me it seems that MB has just started their own bastardized type of "netlabel", for no other reason than promotion for their own website/corporation. i agree with the people implying that MB is abusing the netlabel "standards", molding em in a way that they could get away with very cheap promotion. MB by its corporate nature is just not in the right position to start a "netlabel". The only reason why they even have an "entertainment" section is because they want more people to stay on their site, period.

We all know it's not an easy task running a (net)label, seeking out talented musicians, and trying to assemble a decent target audience. MB disregards all that by plucking those artists that already made a difference on different netlabels, and by only targetting their company's audience. In this way they piss on what defines netlabels. Tell me: how can a bunch of moneydriven 9-5'ers replace a serious netlabel-owner's "passionate" (as Sebastian puts it) perspective? By doing market-research?

And finally, how pathetic is this Sony deal... i believe that a release with Sony (or similar money-oriented labels) is an awful goal for an artist. What the big labels do is try to define the masses' taste to attract the biggest public possible, to in turn make their profits. Smaller indie labels are usually run by people that release and specialize in their own tastes, rather than most buyers' tastes (hence they are doomed to be smaller). And while it may not be possible to make a living through indie labels (not much you can expect from the lower number of printed copies...), i still see them as the morally responsible way to make money (little as it may be) with your productions. We don't need another milliondollar rockstar ór spice girls, we need targeted music, for all kinds of groups of like-minded individuals. Somehow massconsumption doesn't fit in this picture, while indie labels and netlabelism do.

> Putting aside our artistic underground egos for a second.. I'm sure there's little argument that the majority of players
> here wouldn't mind or even aspire to make a living off of their music if the situation would arise...

Obviously it is my conception that no worthy artist can actually live off their productions alone, without resorting to more commercial labels, where music equals money and top50 charts, which would make them unworthy in my book. It's a question of artists' integrity. Artists that are on there: Do you really want to be a rockstar...? Because thát imho is where the ego comes in.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffaaron m Date: Jun 27, 2004 11:04am
Forum: netlabels Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz hearts netlabels?

Yeah, these points have already made, but at least you managed to come off with more hostility. It's my conTENtion that this is (partially) a typical one-sided and narrow view of an ever evolving industry. When i used the word Masses, its obvious I did not mean mass consumption. Art and music is to be communicated.. targeted audiences fine, but unless people know what exists they'll never even know to look. I also find that reducing all of MB's customer base to money driven, money greedy people as immature.

>MB disregards all that by plucking those artists
>that already made a difference on different
>netlabels, and by only targetting their
>company's audience.

A type of audience we don't normally target. I see no problem with this..someone doing the work for us that we dont want or care to do.

>In this way they piss on what defines netlabels.

In what way? I fail to see the connection here. You're reaching.

>Tell me: how can a bunch of moneydriven 9-5'ers
>replace a serious netlabel-owner's "passionate"
>(as Sebastian puts it) perspective?

Whats even the point of this question? Again I fail to see the connection.

In no way do I see this site as "trying to be a netlabel" any more so than Interjamp or Subsource do when they put together netlabel scene related mixes. Only difference here is they are using the music content to keep people at their site or attract a few new visitors.. Where on our sites the material itself is the main attraction and the entire point.

>Obviously it is my conception that no worthy
>artist can actually live off their productions

Worthy? Bah. This type of mindset has become a pet peeve of mine and I see it as entirely too simplistic and naive. First of all, any serious musician can attest and agree on the annoyance of people asking how much money they make off music or if they can live off of it. However, this isn't the entire picture. Many of us work or have worked in fields related to our skills as a musician, be it sessioning, video games, engineering or even elevator music, whatever. There is nothing wrong with making a living off of what you love to do, and many of us see this as an actual goal in life. fuck working for other people and fuck being completely broke.

>alone, without resorting to more commercial
>labels, where music equals money and top50
>charts, which would make them unworthy in my
>book.

thats not true either,.. there's thousands (easily more) of ppl and bands making a decent living with none of these ingredients involved. to say or think otherwise is to ignore the obvious.

But who said money was the issue here? I didn't. Its not and shouldn't be. We aren't in this for the money. Which is where the hyopcrite accusation I made earlier comes in.

>It's a question of artists' integrity.

No it's not, I fail to see this connection. Again I think this is being naive, simplistic, and very exagerated in regards to this MB situation.

>Artists that are on there: Do you really want to
>be a rockstar...? Because thát imho is where the
>ego comes in.

I dont personally care for any rockstar-status, but I wouldn't hold it against someone who does. Whats with the one sided view of what an Ego is or isnt? One of the longest running debates and annoyances in any art culture since the dawn of man has been the elitest. And this is exactly what has impreganted 90% of the threads I've read here on this subject.

Anyways, we're all entitled to our own opinions but I see yours and similar ones as being entirely way off balanced and ignoring larger pictures. I also think they give this MB site way too much credit and are over emphasizing on the seriousness of the matter. When it comes down to it, people dont have to participate if they don't want to.

This post was modified by aaron m on 2004-06-27 18:04:32

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffErratic Date: Jun 27, 2004 3:08pm
Forum: netlabels Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz hearts netlabels?

> When i used the word Masses, its obvious I did not mean mass consumption.
When i said mass consumption, i was talking about Sony-type labels, which rely on mass consumption.

>>Tell me: how can a bunch of moneydriven 9-5'ers
>>replace a serious netlabel-owner's "passionate"
>>(as Sebastian puts it) perspective?
>Whats even the point of this question? Again I fail to see the connection.
>I also find that reducing all of MB's customer base to money driven, money greedy people as immature.
I meant that most probably no MB staff (not costumers!) will have the same kind of dedication as netlabel-owners do (who founded the netlabel from their own convictions), seeing that they're just doing what they're told to do. But hey maybe there's uber-enthousiastic folks working there...

>A type of audience we don't normally target. I see no problem with this..someone doing the work for us that we dont want or
>care to do.
I wouldn't see a problem either if it were a non-profit organisation.

>>In this way they piss on what defines netlabels.
> In what way? I fail to see the connection here. You're reaching.
>Only difference here is they are using the music content to keep people at their site or attract a few new visitors.. Where
>on our sites the material itself is the main attraction and the entire point.
Exactly... and using artists free of charge to promote their business is not abuse to you?

>>Obviously it is my conception that no worthy
>>artist can actually live off their productions
>Worthy? Bah.
Ok imagine i used "serious".

>This type of mindset has become a pet peeve of mine and I see it as entirely too simplistic and naive. First of all, any
>serious musician can attest and agree on the annoyance of people asking how much money they make off music or if they can
>live off of it. However, this isn't the entire picture.
>Many of us work or have worked in fields related to our skills as a
>musician, be it sessioning, video games, engineering or even elevator music, whatever. There is nothing wrong with making a
>living off of what you love to do, and many of us see this as an actual goal in life. fuck working for other people and fuck
>being completely broke.
I never disapproved of these types of jobs as i was talking about "their productions", as in personal works, meant for release purely as music. Nobody likes being broke or working for other people.

>We aren't in this for the money. Which is where
>the hyopcrite accusation I made earlier comes in.
All i'm saying is that i believe the artists shouldn't allow MB to use their music simply because they use it to their corporation's advantage (who _are_ in it for the money). Ofcourse every artist should decide that for him/herself if they get this chance. To me it would be something like selling my soul for misdirected promotion.

>>It's a question of artists' integrity.
>No it's not, I fail to see this connection.
The connection is: when you sell your soul to the devil, you lose your artists' integrity.

>Again I think this is being naive, simplistic, and very exagerated in regards to this MB situation.
It's easy to refute anything by calling it naive or simplistic.

>Anyways, we're all entitled to our own opinions but I see yours and similar ones as being entirely way off balanced and
>ignoring larger pictures.
If i ignored any larger pictures, it was because i didn't want to make a book of my text. I know well enough what i'm talking about.

>I also think they give this MB site way too much credit and are over emphasizing on the
>seriousness of the matter.
Relative.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffcamomille Date: Jun 26, 2004 4:05am
Forum: netlabels Subject: Re: Mercedes-Benz hearts netlabels?

agreed. I just don't know when netlabels became the place to be close minded about everything and paranoid of everyone.
The license is there for a reason, and its for other people to use our music and distribute our music freely. That's its goal.